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Chinese Government School (SJK[C]) vs International School: Which Is Better

by on 10/01/2023 4395

Parents who desire to enrol their children in a high-quality school may explore the various available education mediums. The choices are endless. In addition to schools, there are also options for learning and homeschooling centres. Most countries, including Malaysia, offer public, private, and international schools.


Nowadays, parents actively participate in their children's education, from selecting the school to determining the best curriculum for them. Research has shown that parental involvement has a long-term effect on a child's development. It is also proven to improve the child's academic achievement.


Parents must keep a close eye on how their kids feel about their learning experience in school, which raises the question: Is Chinese or international school in Malaysia better? Chinese schools in Malaysia are more commonly known as Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina (SJKC) or Sekolah Menengah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina (SMJKC).


So, let's take a closer look at the differences between these two mediums.


Attitude/ Focus

International schools in Malaysia focus on the needs of the students and support their capacity to develop and sustain a genuine curiosity for learning. On the other hand, Chinese schools emphasise exams and outstanding academic performance.


International and Chinese schools provide pupils with enrichment opportunities to develop new abilities. While international schools inspire children to think creatively, Chinese schools promote a more "by-the-book" method.


Because Chinese schools are exam-oriented, educators tend to allocate more homework. This method is thought to help students perform better. Unlike international schools, which adhere to the curriculum or specialisation they adopt, Chinese schools adhere to the phrase "practice makes perfect".


Students are allocated practical assignments to maximise their abilities at some international schools that focus on developing athletes or future STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) leaders.



Chinese School vs International School: Which Is Better

Most of the Chinese school's student body consists of students with Chinese heritage. It has become ingrained in the cultures to work incredibly hard to get past challenges. Comparatively speaking, international schools embrace a holistic approach. They give students confidence by recognising that everyone has different talents. In international schools, students are free to pick what they wish to accomplish through positive reinforcement instead of being pressured to learn new skills.



International organisations that certify schools conduct annual or even monthly inspections to determine whether the institutions are eligible to continue to be accredited. Members from these organisations will visit the schools. They will then evaluate the amenities and teaching and learning approaches as part of one of these certification procedures.


Chinese schools are usually supported by the following:


  • Chinese communities and associations
  • Student fees
  • Investors


Hence, certain luxury features like specialised amenities are compromised, and three factors determine the facilities of the school:


  1. The funding they get
  2. The decisions of their management board
  3. The basic needs of its students


The management board will determine what to add or remove as long as the school meets (or preferably exceeds) the basic criteria for a suitable learning atmosphere for children.


School Culture

Chinese School vs International School: Which Is Better

The rules that have been implemented in Chinese schools are meant to instil discipline into the students while the stern teachers who follow the rules thoroughly will educate them about respect.


Teachers in international schools, on the other hand, are more personable, adaptable, and eager to engage with students. There may be more compassion from international school teachers due to the mixture of cultures.



Students in SJKC and SMJK follow the same curriculum and take the same exams as those at national schools. However, SJMK and SJKC schools designate extra time for Mandarin studies, with five periods each week. This approach is to cultivate a deeper understanding of the language and its origins among their pupils, who are primarily of ethnic Chinese descent.


On the other hand, the assignments at international schools involve a lot of individual studies and critical reasoning. Often, they are more interested in personal growth than exam preparation. An international school offers a broader range of subject options as well.


Learning Experiences

There is a lot more pressure and competitiveness for academic success in Chinese schools, which will educate the children about perseverance. On the other hand, the atmosphere at an international school is more easygoing, which allows students to self-discover.


Students are given the opportunity and support to speak up by their teachers. Additionally, teachers are regarded as friends by the students.


Your Child Deserves To Enjoy Their Schooling Years

The most crucial factor to take into account is not whether one school is superior to another but rather whether or not parents fully comprehend their children well enough to determine which teaching style would work best for them.